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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019

Russian scientists trapped in weather station for two weeks by polar bears

The area around their facility was surrounded by ten adult bears, and several cubs.

shutterstock_221452387 Source: Shutterstock/Sylvie Bouchard

A GROUP OF Russian scientists have finally been able to leave their weather station after being trapped inside by polar bears for the last two weeks.

They had been stuck inside the facility, on the remote Izvestiy TSIK Islands, after around a dozen of the bears descended on the area.

It had initially been feared the siege could last several more weeks – but the station supervisor told NBC News that a research vessel took a detour last night to help the trapped meteorologists.

s The Izvestiy TSIK Islands Source: Google Maps

According to another staff member at the station, who spoke to Russian news agency TASS, a female bear had taken to spending nights under the facility’s window – so it was dangerous for personnel to go outdoors.

Scientists, as a result, had to abandon some duties that required leaving the station to make observations out in the field.

Four to six polar bears had been on the island over the summer, the news agency reported, but that number has since swollen to ten adult bears – plus a few cubs.

The meteorologists had been using flares to scare the bears away – but they ran out of the signals, leading to the start of a siege-type situation.

Polar bears are listed as an endangered species, and polar bear hunting has been banned in Russia for almost 60 years.

NBC News reports that the ship that reached the station frightened away the bears by using its helicopter, and dropped off more flares.

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